KAW Tri Story No. 2 - Cynthia Barleycorn

Posted by jennifer greenwood on

In November I received an email from a young lady called Cynthia, she was interested in KAW Tri clothing, but she also had a story to tell. I instantly fell in love with this girl as she is truthful, raw and struggles, just like we all do. But she keeps on going and is turning her life around. I am so proud of how far she has come and I can't wait to see what 2020 has lined up for her - it is going to be an amazing year.

This is her Story:

From an early age of 12/13 I've always heard the same comments:

This will cover your belly!

Don't wear that it makes you fatter!

Are you going to eat that?

When you lose weight you will be prettier!

I WAS healthy, I just wasn't thin. So I ended up hating my body, eating secretly so as not to be judged and holding my tummy in. I didn't want to go to the beach, or to the pool. 

All those comments that were intended to 'HELP' me, completely destroyed my self esteem. 

Now at 28, and after a lot of work (still in progress)  I decided to start my TRI journey, I was an obese girl of 223lbs and 5ft 1inch. I could not swim more than 20 meters in a row or run more than 30 seconds without dying in the attempt.

One day I said 'ENOUGH.'

ENOUGH of being a failure!

ENOUGH of eating your emotions and frustrations!

ENOUGH of living in surrender!

In May 2019, I made a trip to Mexico, a trip that had no purpose other than to live new experiences and drink margaritas. That trip ended up changing my life. In Mexico,  I decided that I could not continue like this, having many plans, but no motivation to carry them out. 

I decided to stop being the Cynthia who gave up without even trying. I wanted to stop being that Cynthia with a thousand excuses not to change.

So one day, during my vacation in that wonderful country I dedided to change my diet and my lifestyle and do a Triathlon.

When I told my friends and colleagues, everyone told me I was crazy, and honestly I doubted myself too. Then the day arrived - October 6th 2019 and I crossed the finish line in the Super Sprint category of the Barcleona Triathon by Santander. It took me 1.06hrs to finish, and deep down I knew I could have done it in 50minutes and it bothers me that I didn't manage my time better. But at the same time I realize everything that I did that day and I know I did a great job.

I managed to overcome myself.

I managed to overcome the panic and the desire to give up as soon as I got into the water with all those people around me. 

I amanaged to learn to make healthy decisions.

I managed to show myself there is no limit to what I can do.

And here I am, 34lbs lighter and training for my next challenge, an Olympic Triathlon in October 2020 and then an Ironman. I will continue to fight to become the superwoman I want to be. 

I will not stop until i achieve my goal and give 100% of myself.

I am no longer scared of failure, as I was already failing for not even trying. I decided to become a triathlete, when I wasn't even sure what a Triathlon was about! But I knew it was going to be the toughest challenge I had ever done - And I did it!

Q & A 

1. Who would you like to mention and thank for helping you along in this journey?

I would like to thank my friends Anna and Nuria because they are still on my side and they actually came to my Triathlon to support me.

Also, the boxing gym No Limits because they supported me 100% and all the staff helped me. I will always be grateful.

2. What would your advice be for anyone that is in a similar situation as yours and wants to OVERCOME herself?

I would say 'Don't think about it and do it! You will find 1,000 excuses if you want too - so start NOW'!

Also you are capable, strong and you can do it. 

Along my journey I crossed with a lot of people who laughed at me, literally they laughed at my face telling me I couldn't achieve my goals. I've learned that any person who laughs at others' dreams are not worth it. I don't need people to cut my wings, I have already done that myself. I need people who help me fly higher. 

The only secret is working hard and not giving up. You will have good and bad days. Just do your best and you will achieve great things. 

If you decide to change your lifestyle and fight for your goals and dreams, you are already there. 

3. What races are you doing next year? 

I have Sprint Distance races on:

April 4th - Tritour Deltebre

May 30th - Tritour Amposta

July 5th - Tirtour Pont de Suert

August 8th - London Triathlon

September 19th - Tritour Tossa de Mar

And then my main goal Next Year, the Olympic distance: 

October 4th - Barcelona Triathlon


There you have it, a very moving and inspirational story told by the lovely Cynthia. Please follow her wonderful journey on Instagram @plussize_triathlete

This lady is an inspiration to many and is so beautiful on the inside and out. So happy that our paths have crossed Cynthia.

If any of you lovely ladies have a story they would love to tell, please email us at support@kawtri.com

Thank you everyone for reading.



KAW Tri Community




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